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Mick McCarthy reveals Rangers response to letter asking about players of Irish descent

Mick McCarthy

“I kinda knew that, anyway!”

Mick McCarthy has revealed that when he first became Republic of Ireland manager back in 1996, he sent a letter to every club in the UK asking about players who may be eligible to play for the Boys in Green.

McCarthy said Rangers were the first club to respond, and he wasn’t surprised by their answer.

Mick McCarthy on scouting players.

In an appearance on Paddy Power’s The Horse’s Mouth podcast, McCarthy was asked about how he scouts players in the current climate, with restrictions enforced across Europe to fight the spread of Covid-19.

“It’s a lot easier now because we’ve got so many things we can use on the computer, like Wyscout. You can check every player, find out where they are what they’re doing,” McCarthy said.

He then compared and contrasted the approach with how he scouted players before the advent of modern technology.

Mick McCarthy on Rangers’ response to Ireland letter.

“Of course, I’ve always had help (scouting), I had Taff, Ian Evans, the first time. I had TC (Terry Connor) and Robbie (Keane) the second time,” he said.

“The first time (he became Ireland manager), I remember I got the FAI to write to every club in England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales to see if we’d got any players with Irish heritage who could play (for the Republic of Ireland).

“Funnily enough, the first club that wrote back to me and said they hadn’t was Glasgow Rangers. And I kinda knew that, anyway!

“I did write to them, I thought it’d be wrong not to. And they were the first ones to write back and say, ‘Sorry, Mick, no we don’t have any’.”

In 1996, a Catholic player from the Republic of Ireland had yet to play for Rangers, so the club’s swift response to McCarthy’s request won’t have been a surprise.

Former Ireland Under-21 striker Jon Daly, in 2013, became the first Catholic player from the Republic of Ireland to represent the Glasgow club.

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Originally published on December 21, 2020.

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